In my attempt to try my hand at every single plotline in the fanfic Potterverse…this is my take on LM/HG/SS.
This is rated 'mature content' simply for the subject matter (not sure if it will have smut…I'm still debating). Thanks to onecelestialbeing who talked me into posting…anyone who hasn't read her work needs to hop over and try some of her fics…they are fantastic.
Again, this is a story about three adults forming an unconventional bond…it's going to offend a lot of readers…if you know you're one of them, please stick with one of my other 'T' fics…
Oh…this world belongs to JKR…I just play in it!
Lucius Malfoy bit back a groan.
It wouldn't be long now. Three days was more than enough to endure, and even the combined efforts of his old friend Severus and the witch (as if she were the only witch in the world)…not even their combined efforts could forestall the inevitable much longer.
His loyal friends were still fighting, but he'd known what he was doing. He'd seen the curse before. He tried not to think about how it had almost hit the witch. Unacceptable. He was very content that he'd blocked it, though if he were being honest with himself, he would rather he'd done so with something other than his body…
But he didn't regret stepping in front of the witch. He didn't regret offering to go on the raid to dismantle dark objects, since the Minister had purloined Severus for the weekend.
He knew that he was in a delirious phase because he wasn't in much pain at the moment. The curse should have killed him within hours, but the witch had pulled another bleeding miracle out of her handbag of tricks and stabilized him somehow…
Severus was fetched, healers were consulted, and he doubted his two friends had slept since that fateful night, working tirelessly to find a cure…
Friendship. That was how this had all started.
He'd gone back for Severus' body after the battle. He'd intended to take his friend back to the manor, bury him with dignity as an official Malfoy. Imagine his surprise to find the insufferable Gryffindor know-it-all already there. She'd been there for the same duty, but she'd found that Snape was alive. The chit had ordered him…him!...to raid Severus' private potions stock (actually, it was a very good thing that it had been him…very few other wizards could have gotten through the wards, and some of the potions on his shelves were completely illegal.)
Together, he and the Granger girl had managed to stabilize his old friend.
That was when she started chewing on her lip. He'd wondered, at the time, if she was trying to cannibalize herself. She was thin enough to consider it.
"Where to take him? The Order…"
He had snorted. The Order would never trust Severus Snape, no matter what the man had done. Lucius was fairly certain that his old friend really had been Dumbledore's man…and he was sure he knew why. He'd never bought Sev's assurances to the Dark Lord that Lily Evans had been just a passing fancy. He was just a good enough occlumens to tuck that doubt away even from even Voldemort.
"He'll come to the manor of course. We'll take care of him there." He meant himself and the house elves. Draco and Narcissa were already on their way to America, courtesy of some old acquaintances. He was rather fond of his wife (arranged marriage or not) and he adored his son. He would stay and try to salvage what he could for Draco's sake…Merlin knew the boy had been through hell the last two years of the war…
The little Gryffindor swot was impertinent enough to shoot him a distrustful glance. Her voice was strong and she was fingering her wand as she spoke her next words.
"He was ours you know. Dumbledore's man through and through."
Ah. Hermione Granger was worried about Severus Snape. He smirked slightly, thinking about Sev's probable reaction to that… In happier times Lucius would have found it extremely amusing.
"You mean he was Lily Evan's man through and through. He's been my friend longer than you've been alive Miss Granger…do give me the benefit of assuming I can see past the tip of my nose."
She looked shocked. It was easy for her to look that way. Her eyes were huge in her face after a year on the run. She looked like hell…of course, he did too…
"You don't mind."
"That Severus helped kill a psychopath who had imprisoned myself and my family so he had access to our bank accounts? No, Miss Granger…I was quite content for Tom Riddle to remain in the Albanian forest, even more content that he is dead at the hand of Harry Potter. If I'd had my way, he would have met his end much, much sooner."
They'd reached an understanding at that moment somehow. She'd helped him get Severus back to his home, despite her shudders at entering the place.
It wasn't the first time that he'd admired Gryffindor bravery (not that he'd ever admit it!)…but to his mind it was one of the more impressive displays of it. He had tortured and been tortured many times. The pain was terrible. But the real damage was to the mind…and having strength enough to face the place where it happened so soon after the event showed a truly unique human being in front of him.
They had made Severus comfortable, and he'd shoo'd her off, but not before extracting a promise from her.
"If I'm arrested in the next few days, you will take care of him?"
He'd hated to ask, but leaving him at the mercy of house elves or the Order of the Phoenix left a sour taste in his mouth. "They won't be able to find him, but I'll key you to the wards."
She'd looked at him, and he had seen something there…a grim determination. He didn't think much on it at the time. It wasn't until later, when a Ministry owl delivered pardons for himself, his family, and Severus, when she bullied healers at St Mungo's into making house calls, and when she personally delivered an Order of Merlin, (First class) to Severus' bedside that he truly understood the lengths the witch would go to. Her use of threats, bribery, name-dropping, and physical violence in those first days after the war was inspired. She would have made a fine Malfoy.
He'd chuckled to himself when he'd thought that. Severus was recovering… albeit slowly, his family was safe (but had chosen to remain in America, on his recommendation…he didn't much trust the general populace to be as intimidated by the little witch as the Ministry was).
He and Severus saw a lot of Miss Granger in those first days. She was helping re-build Hogwarts, but she slipped over to the manor most evenings. Lucius took an odd sort of pleasure in feeding her every time she showed up. Even after an entire summer at Hogwarts she was still much too thin, and there were deep circles under her eyes that indicated that she didn't sleep well.
He was enjoying a glass of wine in his study when she walked in one evening after a lengthy visit. She'd put Severus to bed as gently as his own mother might have done, and was preparing to leave.
"A glass of wine or three would not go amiss. It might help you sleep better than whatever you've been taking."
The girl's eyes narrowed in anger for a moment, but she'd noticed his own dark circles.
He'd laughed and tapped them. "Yes. I would know. Now, can I send a bottle home with you, or would you at least accept a glass here?"
She'd allowed him to pour her a glass while she wandered about the study, perusing his books. It wasn't something he would normally allow, but the girl was outside his normal rules.
"Why did you do it?"
She'd turned around so quickly that her curly hair bounced.
"Why did you work so hard to get a pardon for me of all people? I need not remind you…you who were at the Ministry that night…I did not deserve any such thing."
She nodded and took another sip of wine. "For one thing, your arrest would have left Severus less protected. I'm no fool. The cachet of being a war hero is already waning as the fear and chaos recede. I had no idea how quickly it would happen in those first few days, but I knew it would. Once Kingsley steps down as Minister, well, I'll basically have all the influence that any good PR problem does. I don't mind that for myself, but I want Snape on his own two feet before it happens. He's one of ours. He bled and nearly died for us…for me." She looked down at her glass.
"I suppose that's the real answer to your question. It wasn't hard to get pardons for your wife and son. I had to lie outrageously to get you off. But there was no profit in going back for Severus' body. There was no safety in tirelessly working to heal him. He's your friend. Severus is on my list…the list of people I would do nearly anything to save if they are in trouble. It's a short list."
She finished her wine and walked toward the floo.
"Thank you, the wine was excellent."
Things changed between them after that conversation.
Severus recovered slowly. Lucius decided that the younger witch's interest in her former teacher should be encouraged.
"I noted that the Hogwarts Library was damaged in the final battle Miss Granger."
She'd nodded sadly as she watched Severus doze in a hammock in the garden. It was one of the last fine days in September. She'd taken a temporary place at Hogwarts as librarian. Madam Pince was in no condition to oversee the massive work needed to put the library to rights.
"One more loss in a sea of loss…"
She was watching Severus when she said it, but he rather thought that she was speaking of the growing distance between herself and her two school mates, the other members of the so-called Golden Trio.
Or perhaps she was referring to the library; the little swot loved her books after all.
"It is true that it will never be exactly the same again, but while the Malfoy library does run high toward those books that might be considered dark, we have an excellent selection of other texts as well. I have a spell that can copy any text, even those warded and protected as my books are. The spell would have to be done inside the library…"
She'd lit up. "Really?"
He'd smiled, happy to see some excitement out of her. She'd grown a bit despondent.
"Yes really. It's a brilliant public relations move, if I do say so myself. But you must promise me that you won't say a word about where you're getting the books…the secret will travel faster that way." They shared a laughing glance, but it was true enough.
The library project really did go some way toward clearing the Malfoy name. It helped that it was done quietly, with little or no fan fair, and that Lucius used his remaining influence in the pureblood community to entice others to donate from their private libraries as well. In the end, the Hogwarts library had to add several additional rows to provide space (and the restricted section grew out of all bounds…)
Severus was rather waspish about that. "Can you imagine the trouble the little brats are going to get into with those books at their fingertips?"
Hermione had chuckled as she took a bite of the fragrant meal in front of her. She ate with them a few times a week now. He knew that Severus looked forward to her visits as much as he did.
"Oh I took care of that Professor. I have an undetectable spell on all the books that allows me to see who is really reading what…and Professor Vector and I came up with an algorithm that predicts what sort of trouble they might be getting into based on their reading materials."
Severus raised a brow, impressed in spite of himself. "Trouble?" His lips twitched. "Like turning one's self into a cat during second year?"
She'd sniffed, totally unrepentant. "My polyjuice potion was perfect…my mistake was in acquiring a cat hair rather than a human one."
Lucius laughed and even Severus chuckled.
Hermione had beamed at both of them. "The good news is that we don't have many students like that…" She'd looked down at her plate, and the men could tell she was remembering the ones she'd lost.
Severus raised his glass. "To absent friends…"
Severus eventually recovered his full health, but Lucius had managed to keep him at the manor. It didn't matter that his friend stayed mostly out of misplaced pity…
Narcissa met someone who actually fell in love with her, and since Draco was grown, she was ready to abolish the sham of a marriage that they had endured all these years. Lucius was pleased that she was happy. Narcissa had done her level best to make a bad situation bearable when they'd been forced to marry…he'd done what he could to keep her happy. She was an excellent mother to their son.
Draco had finished his last year of school and had taken the American equivalent of the NEWTS. Lucius arranged for him to open a branch of Malfoy Enterprises in the States, and the boy seemed to be doing well. They didn't actually see much of each other, and the conversations were stilted…but he had hopes that Draco would eventually forgive him for his part in the war.
He found it a bit odd, but his acceptance of Cissa's relationship seemed to have thawed the ice between himself and his son more than anything.
He mentioned that one evening while he was sharing a glass of wine with Severus and Hermione.
"It's selfless." The quiet comment caught him off guard. He looked at the witch as she held her glass.
"You've never discussed your motivations with Draco, so he doesn't know why you took up with Voldy-pants in the first place…but he knows that there is no selfish reason why you should be so genuinely pleased that his mother is happy with someone else. It makes you look like cuckold, the settlement you gave her was generous…there was no good reason to do those things, much less to look happy about it…unless you truly loved your ex-wife…but you weren't in love with her."
Severus raised a brow.
Lucius sighed. "Dead on of course. Marrying Cissy was like you marrying Mr. Potter. We were not related by blood, I loved her dearly, but we were never…compatible." That was a nice way to put that they'd both been a bit nauseous at the idea of bedding each other to begin with…and nearly twenty years of marriage hadn't changed that.
"Well, Draco's a logical thinker. He's going to mull that around in his head for a bit, and I imagine your relationship will have a change to grow as much as you both allow it to…"
She'd smiled at him. And he'd smiled back.
He didn't like it when she finally left Hogwarts and took a job at the Department of Mysteries. Severus liked it even less.
Within a month, Severus was an Unspeakable and partnered with Miss Granger.
"Honestly! I'm not a child Severus."
"I don't need you to protect me!"
"No, you are a highly competent witch, though I must admit you are too reliant on foolish wand waving as opposed to brewing a good potion."
"Then why are you following me to work at the Ministry?"
"Because it's rather boring around here without you."
Lucius had lasted another month before signing a contract with the Ministry to consult on dark and deadly objects.
She'd been furious.
"Severus is correct. The manor is rather boring without you. I feel the need of a challenge."
Eventually, Draco married a pure-blood American debutant named Samantha…
Hermione and Severus accompanied Lucius to the wedding and they'd laughed good-naturedly about her little pug nose, naturally platinum hair, and generous curves.
"That boy runs to type. But he's never dated anyone that I know of who was so…curvy."
The new Mrs. Malfoy was certainly that. By current standards she was almost fat, though no one would ever say that in her presence. She was a lively, spirited witch with aquamarine eyes and long curling hair. Her large breasts and wide hips were a sign of good fortune for the Malfoy line as the years passed. Nine months after the wedding she presented a beaming Draco with a set of twins. Twelve months later they sent pictures of triplets.
Lucius had laughed when he'd heard the news that she was expecting again.
Severus was happy for his godson. "Tell that witch I want a copy of whatever fertility spell she's using, in case I ever decide to tie the knot. Having a full family in one go seems highly efficient."
Hermione snorted. "Maybe to you. Not all of us have the hips to pull that off." It had taken years of eating to put flesh enough on her. Four years after the war, she no longer looked like a famine victim, but she was still all slender lines and boyish hips.
Lucius knew the line of her hips and he didn't let his eyes roam. Severus eyed the witch hungrily. She saw it and blushed.
It wasn't long after that when Severus took the girl to his bed. Lucius had sighed, worrying about their dynamic, but in the end it changed very little between the three of them, at least from Lucius' perspective.
"No, I absolutely forbid it."
"Lucius, you've been more than generous…"
He snorted. "Don't be silly Hermione, I've been a selfish old bastard and I intend to go on being one. And my favorite indulgence is having a beautiful woman at my table every night at dinner. There is absolutely no reason for the two of you to leave. Simply move into Severus' bleeding wing!"
Severus sighed. "Old friend, we really shouldn't impose…"
"It's not an imposition."
He had, for once, allowed a little of the loneliness he felt to leak out on his face. All in the name of manipulating them of course…but it was true enough that the manor would be a hollow, empty place without them.
"What about a compromise? The dower house on the back of the property would give you some space of your own…"
"You don't need to house us."
"I do need to have you both close! I'd much rather you simply stayed in the wing…it would be less trouble for the house elves, and I know how you like to spare them Hermione…"
She'd rolled her eyes and stepped up to him. He felt himself drawn into her arms. "Don't worry Lucius. You aren't losing Severus, or me."
He'd hugged the little witch back and his eyes had rested on Severus…his notoriously possessive friend. He was grinning.
"Damn Gryffindor women make Slytherins go all mushy."
He'd had his way about the wing in the end. Hermione started taking up some of the 'duties' associated with Mrs. Malfoy when she moved in. He tried not to impose, but he found that he enjoyed watching her play hostess, sparkling like a jewel.
He and Severus watched her with slightly gloating expressions that were a bit too close in nature.
That was probably what started the rumors.
AN: I'll post more New Year's Day.